After Enron, Hollywood bets on its own script for future profits
Published: December 20 2008 02:00 | Last updated: December 20 2008 02:00
From Mr Max Keiser.
The potential for mischief with Cantor’s new box office futures contracts is enormous (“All eyes on Hollywood futures”, December 13). When I was running the Hollywood Stock Exchange during the 1990s I was constantly approached by the Hollywood studios asking me to move up the prices of their MovieStocks to influence the perception of their films in the weeks just before a movie was released at the box office.
I believe that when these box office futures contracts become available these same studios will redirect millions of dollars they spend on marketing to buy and sell futures contracts in order to drive the price, and therefore perception, of their own and competing studios’ films, higher or lower.
Perception is the currency in Hollywood, and pricing perception, while putting the price discovery mechanism for perception into the hands of the same hedge fund and futures trading industry that has, by and large, been responsible for the mess the global financial system now finds itself in, portends a new kind of disaster film none of us wants to see.
How long before taxpayers in the US will be asked to bail out the Hollywood studios after they have bankrupted themselves making risky futures bets trying to influence the perception of their own and other studios’ films? Does the US really need a new way to destabilise its economy with more dodgy derivatives? I think I have seen this movie before. It was called Enron.
Former CEO and Co-Founder, HSX Holdings/Hollywood Stock Exchange
Financial Times: All eyes on Hollywood futures
Previously: Cantor Exchange
Previously: Should the Hollywood Stock Exchange become a real-money betting exchange? – 2007-10-04